Reconciling European sovereignty, defense posture and transatlantic cooperation

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Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in 2022 highlights the importance of Europe’s need to invest more in defense technology and its industrial base. A better equipped Europe, rooted in interoperability, innovation, and the investment of trusted partners, will improve the continent’s security, and help to make NATO more united around its shared values.

Andres Maz, Managing Director, Global Government Relations, RTX.


In the beginning of the conflict, the NATO alliance helped Ukraine procure immediately available defense systems, fill capacity shortfalls, and support ongoing operations. The war has depleted resources at an unprecedented rate, necessitating swift and collective action. Aggregating demand across multiple nations at scale will allow replenishment of munitions that are urgently needed.

Key to accelerating production is investing in common and interchangeable defense systems. By promoting more collaborative investments and co-development of capabilities, the European Defense Industrial Strategy will effectively establish an industrial base that works together to co-produce and sustain next-generation technologies. The EU can take an active role in further incentivizing and promoting interchangeability and interoperability of equipment. This would further increase the ability of NATO members to work together effectively and efficiently in carrying out multinational operations.


Technological innovation is also required to better serve Europe’s security needs. The rapid pace of defense innovation requires nations to invest to stay technologically competitive on a global scale. Recognizing that the burden of maintaining a technological edge should not rest solely on individual countries, Europe needs to foster its defense industrial base by promoting win-win alliances, integrating cooperative ventures to obtain the most efficient products for its forces, while at the same time diversifying and strengthening the supply chain across the Atlantic.

Joining forces in collaborative research and development efforts amongst allied nations can prove advantageous for all parties involved, as no single country possesses all the technologies, human or financial resources to meet today’s demands alone. The current security environment in Europe necessitates cooperation throughout the Alliance to ensure that the European armed forces get the capabilities they need, avoiding sub-optimal fragmented solutions and proliferation of multiple non-interoperable capabilities. This cooperation should also extend to the modernization of the equipment procurement frameworks to streamline the qualification and certification processes as well.

Investment by Trusted Partners

In a contested security environment, where new and multiple threats evolve at an incredibly increasing speed, collaboration is more important than ever. It is critical for the EU to work with trusted partners who have been investing for many years in Europe and who continue investing heavily in the region. RTX’s three business units – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon – have operated in Europe for more than 100 years and have established strong working relationships with local partners to ensure the rapid development and fielding of capabilities, helping with the objective of complementarity between allies.

As a transatlantic company, RTX has demonstrated that global interoperability and collaboration can best serve the allies protection objective. By co-producing and co-sustaining Patriot® system elements throughout Europe, Raytheon helped to reinforce EU supply chain resilience, making adoption by several European Member States of the Patriot system a central element of European Integrated Air and Missile Defense. RTX employs almost 24 000 people across Europe, developing ground-breaking EU-sovereign technology to help support EU security, with local capabilities for R&D, manufacturing, and sustainment.

As an integral part of the EU’s Defense Technological and Industrial Base (DTIB), RTX strengthens the European supply chain resilience, opening many export markets to our 10,500 EU suppliers and integrating EU content in RTX’s products. Collins Aerospace, for example, supports, together with local partners like Sabena Technics, the French Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) with the modernization of their C-130H fleet, customizing the system needed by the French Special Forces, while Pratt & Whitney’s Rzeszow facility in Poland manufactures the F100 engine for Poland’s F-16 fleet, supporting the country’s ongoing efforts to bolster their military readiness.


As the last two years have shown, maintaining a strong partnership with our allies is even more critical now than ever. Strengthening the EU defense technology industrial base requires more and deeper transatlantic cooperation. It is vital to reinforce the value of co-development, co-production, co-sustainment and collaboration between manufacturers and allied countries, to guarantee our armed forces the best capabilities and in-service availability.

RTX has a longstanding commitment to invest in Europe and partnering with local industry to advance the technological edge. Our presence is deepened by the diverse industrial partnerships forged with aerospace and defense companies across Europe. Through these investments, we collectively deliver greater production capacity, greater supply chain security, and greater stability.  We are proud of the value that RTX brings to the communities across Europe.

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